Consuming local food and water is the most common source of illness for travelers. In areas where the water is not considered safe to drink, only consume the following:
- Beverages, such as tea and coffee, made with vigorously boiled water.
- Canned or bottled carbonated beverages, including carbonated water and soft drinks.
- Beer and wine.
Where water may be contaminated, ice should also be considered contaminated. Remember to avoid using local water when brushing your teeth.
To purify water:
- Boil vigorously for 3 minutes, then allow water to cool to room temperature.
- Add tincture of iodine 2%, 5 drops per liter if water is clear, or 10 drops if water is cloudy. Allow water to stand for 30 minutes.
- Very turbid or very cold water should be allowed to stand several hours prior to use. To ensure that Cryptosporidium is killed, water must stand for 15 hours before drinking.
- Use tetraglycine hydroperiodide tablets (Golbaline, Potable-Aqua®). These are available at pharmacies and sporting goods stores. Follow the directions on the bottle.